Google rolls out core updates a few times every year. These changes are usually general and not focused on any specific websites, industries, or even regions. The goal of Google’s updates is to continually improve user experience and meet searchers’ intents through high-quality content.
However, it‘s important to consider how the recent Google updates from June and July will affect search engine optimization (SEO), what the implications are, and how you can use this knowledge to ensure consistent and better rankings.
Key Elements of the June and July 2021 Core Update
While the update was quite broad, there are specific things that Google Algorithms focused on that will have an impact on SEO from here on out.
Content Remains King
High-quality content remains a major ranking factor in SEO, and Google continues to reward websites that offer value to their visitors. To achieve the best possible rankings, make sure your web content is:
In-depth content must demonstrate complete comprehension of a topic and provide real value to readers. Creating such content requires rigorous research to ensure you do not replicate what’s already published.
You cannot fully elaborate on a topic with a few words. Therefore, you need long-form content to compete with other high-authority sites.
When it comes to writing blogs, webpages, and guest posts, it’s important to consider how much content you will actually need to create to provide adequate information. Generally, blogs and guest posts should be anywhere from 500-2000 words in length.
Besides being in-depth and elaborate, you should evaluate whether the content is useful to and helps readers. Understanding how helpful content is to users can be achieved by assessing how they interact with it. For example, if people spend more time on a page, Google interprets this as valuable content, thus pushing it higher in SERPS.
Another important aspect of content is using keywords to naturally rank on Google, as opposed to relying on paid traffic. With the help of an expert, incorporating natural SEO can be a rewarding and progressive strategy.
Another aspect of SEO that the recent core update focused on was “spammy” outbound links. As the Google bots have become smarter, they can now “nullify” a site that uses black hat methods in outbound links.
Since Google can scrutinize sites, it’s clear that more and more are using external links for monetization. While this is allowed on affiliate marketing websites, Google requires such sites to use different real attributes to explain the type of link. This inclusion will automatically eliminate spammy outbound links.
So, if you monetize your site without using the right real attributes, it’s time to. Otherwise, the implications of this new core update will have negative consequences for both your website and business.
Another important change is that quality has become more important than quantity, so you should shift your focus accordingly.
Google continues to reward websites that embrace continuous on-page and off-page optimization for a better user experience. As a result, there has been a de-ranking of web pages that do not make internal changes to improve performance.
But how does this look in practice?
Appearance Is Key
When a searcher lands on your website or page, one of the first things they may consider is if they find it appealing and impressive. Some things they may subconsciously consider are the colors on the pages, whether the site is easily navigable, and the internal links.
An appealing appearance also involves incorporating visuals – like relevant images and video clips – to accentuate your content and help readers understand it better. It’s best to have customized images and infographics rather than relying on stock photos.
Content Format and Structure
When considering your content’s format and structure, here are some of the questions you should ask yourself:
- How is your high-quality content packaged? Can searchers scan it with ease?
- Do you have the right header tag hierarchies throughout your content?
- Are you meeting the searcher’s intent?
- Do you have informative headlines and subheadings?
- Do you have enough white space?
- Are your sentences and paragraphs short and fluent?
All of these factors are important to the format and structure of your content, in terms of its ability to reach users.
As more people turn to shopping online and using their mobile devices, their user experience remains paramount. With this core update, fully mobile websites are continuously showing better performance.
The challenge remains that most content is generated in desktop mode. So, you need to continue monitoring and assessing mobile responsiveness for better SEO performance.
While visuals are important for enhancing the user experience, there should be a balance to ensure they don’t slow down the loading speed of a site.
Resizing the images and embedding links to a secondary site (instead of uploading it directly to your main website) can help to ensure your loading speed will not be affected.
In this recent core update, Google continues to safeguard the online security of its users. As such, having HTTPS over HTTP remains an important element, as well as having enough security measures on your site to protect your visitors’ data.
With Google’s most recent core updates, SEO continues to be of significant importance to site ranking and performance. To remain afloat during such changes, it’s important to ensure you produce high-quality, engaging, and valuable content, enhance the user experience, avoid spammy outbound links and ensure a safe browsing space. Implementing all of these strategies will allow your site to remain solid even when Google rolls out new changes.